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Working as a pioneer in medical imaging solutions – Kimmo Turula, Neagen Oy

13.08.2018 | Mika Räsänen | Lukuaika 7 min
When Kimmo Turula was finishing up his computer science studies at the University of Oulu, he applied to Neagen Oy. He had never heard of the company before seeing the open position. Little did he know that he would become part of a company that has now become a pioneer in the market of enterprise imaging.

Neagen Oy was established in 2002 from a medical image processing research group in the University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital. Although a small company in size (around 10 employees at the moment and offices in Helsinki and Oulu), in over 10 years Neagen has taken the next step with combining modern web technologies with medical image processing.

Kimmo has now worked at Neagen for almost 7 years as a software developer. “Well actually I’m not quite sure about my job title since we really don’t use them here”, Kimmo laughs. That tells us a lot about the company culture. The people at Neagen are a tight group who have no need for unnecessary and debilitating bureaucracy at the office. Kimmo works in the Java-team at the Oulu office, where also the whole R&D team works at the moment. The R&D-team consists of two teams, the C++-team and the Java-team.

When Kimmo started at Neagen, he didn’t know anything about the industry or the market, which isn’t a big surprise since there aren’t many companies who work with medical imaging solutions, especially here in Finland. “It really wasn’t a problem. We have a great team here and I got always help when I asked for it”, Kimmo says. It is intriguing to work in a unique market and with specialized solutions. “There aren’t a lot of people and developers who have knowledge of our clients’ needs and processes and it takes years to fully understand them. Luckily we have people who have worked within the industry and with these solutions for over 20 years”, he adds.

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Interesting projects and versatile tasks for a developer

At Neagen Kimmo has had the opportunity to work with projects from planning to the very end in testing and implementation. “It is really motivating to be solving our clients’ problems and when you can actually see the end-product functioning, the work that you put in the coding and developing has some significance in it. It feels that what you do has a meaning”. Every project starts with a briefing where the client presents a problem and Neagen’s people then try to solve it. “We have the freedom here to work with the tools and execution style that we seem fit for the case, which is nice”, Kimmo states. He likes to work with open source technologies and Linux system and he can do that at Neagen. Over the years Kimmo has worked with e.g. setting up servers, client support, creating operating room integration systems and developing browser-based image viewing software. Kimmo enjoys the versatility of his job. “You really can’t describe a “normal day”, since every day and every project differs always at least a little.” And that is not a bad thing. Kimmo says he wouldn’t ever want to work on an assembly line. He wants to have variation in his work.

The need to develop

When you work as a developer, the constant advancements in technology are something you have to get used to. You need to learn new things and update your knowledge and skills on a daily basis. If you are a curious person who is motivated by the fact that you have the opportunity to learn new things, like Kimmo is, this is a positive thing. “When I started here, I had zero experience with Javascript but now I work with it daily”, he mentions. With time the work in Java-team has involved more and more frontend work with Javascript, HTML5 and CSS, so much that Kimmo nowadays sees himself as more of a fullstack developer. “You can really see your skills improve here and that also keeps me motivated.” New technologies like machine learning and machine vision are things that Neagen is implementing in their product development in addition to moving from native, desktop software to cloud-based software.

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Why work at Neagen Oy?

As Kimmo mentioned, the freedom and versatility of his job are some of the reasons why he enjoys working at Neagen. The company has grown steadily and profitably but despite the growth, they have kept their flexibility and the ability to adapt and react. If you want to work with high-technology products this might be the place for you. If you are someone who is interested in using the newest web techs, is willing to learn and is self-imposed and isn’t afraid to ask help if needed, check out the open positions and take your first steps towards specializing in developing software in a unique industry.

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